The cost of medicare supplement insurance or Medigap policies vary widely between insurance companies. The premiums charged by different insurance companies for exactly the same coverage can be very different. When looking for a Medigap policy, compare medicare supplement rates for the same benefits. Compare the same Medigap plan from one company with another insurance company.
The cost of a Medigap policy depends on several factors. Does the insurance company offer discounts on their policies. These discounts can be for non-smokers, women, electronic funds transfer, etc. Does the insurance company their rates on a pre-existing medical condition?
Does the insurance company sell Medicare SELECT policies requiring the applicant to use certain providers? Does the insurance company offer a high-deductible option?
Medicare SELECT is Medigap policy requiring policy holders to use hospitals and doctors within its network. Medicare SELECT can be any of the standardized Medigap Plans approved by Medicare. Medicare SELECT policies cost less than other Medigap policies.
When purchasing a Medigap policy with a private insurance company, the policy holder signs a contract agreeing to have the insurance company get information directly from Medicare. They will then pay the doctor directly. Some insurance companies also offer this service for Medicare Part B and Part A policy holders.
In the event that the insurance company does not offer this service, the policy holder can ask their doctors if they participate in the Medicare program. This means that they can accept the assignment for all Medicare patients. If the doctor does participate, the Medigap insurance company is obliged to pay the doctor directly upon request.